Cruz Rolls Dice With Fiorina

Facing a must-win situation in next week’s primary in Indiana, Ted Cruz sought to shake up the GOP presidential campaign by naming Carly Fiorina as his vice presidential candidate.

The dramatic move was teased as a big announcement Wednesday morning and dominated the news cycle a day after Donald Trump swept five Northeastern primaries and reasserted his dominance of the GOP race.

Cruz desperately needed something to change the race’s momentum, and he turned to a failed Republican presidential candidate best known for her fiery attacks on Trump and Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic presidential nominee.

“Ted Cruz is going to be rubbing a rabbit’s foot until Tuesday hoping for another Wisconsin,” said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell. “Not winning Indiana could be a psychological dagger for Cruz’s hopes.”

 O’Connell noted that while the move is geared at expanding Cruz’s base and reaching out more directly to women, it’s a major Hail Mary. 

“The most coverage you ever get is the day you announce, the day you clinch the nomination and the day you make the VP pick,” he said. 

“He’s now giving up just one of his ‘whammies’ just to stay alive. That tells you what desperate straits he’s in.”

Read more from Ben Kamisar and Jonathan Swan at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy